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“Design & Thinking” Documentary

May 17, 2013

I attended a screening of the “Design & Thinking” documentary (2012) at the Otago Museum yesterday evening. The free screening was organised and supported by the Otago Polytechnic School of Design and Wellington company, Empathy (check out their website and you can see the connection with the message of the film). The documentary, which is promoted through a Website and a Facebook page, consists of a collage of edited interviews with high profile designers, design educators, business leaders, small business innovators, and social entrepreneurs. The ideas presented by Tim Brown and David Kelley, who are well-known through their association with the design firm IDEO and Stanford’s d school, will be familiar to most design practitioners, educators and students. Stories about less well known people and projects provide concrete examples of the benefits of linking design, business, and social innovation. The documentary raises the profile of design as a discipline that is increasingly concerned with wicked problems that are best addressed through the collaborative efforts of people from different disciplinary backgrounds.

The filmmakers, Yang, Melissa, Mu-Ming Tsai and Iris, formed One Time Studio and funded the film personally before raising $18,645 through Kickstarter.com, a crowd funding platform. Others are using Kickstarter to raise money for local screenings. It is impressive to see what they accomplished with such limited funds (a product of design thinking, I’m sure). This is a documentary worth seeing, and New Zealanders have an opportunity to see this film and related documentaries during the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival 2013.

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